Reference code: GB99 KCLMA Bartholomew
Title: BARTHOLOMEW, Gen Sir William Henry (1877-1962)
Dates of creation of material: 1917-1950
Level of description: item level
Extent: 0.01m3 or 1 box of papers
Born in 1877; educated at Newton College, south Devon and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; joined Royal Artillery, 1897; graduated Staff College, Quetta, India, 1909-1910; served in World War One, 1914-1918; General Staff Officer, Grade 1, 4 Div, and Brig Gen, General Staff, 20 Corps, 1917-1918; Brig Gen, General Staff, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, 1918; commanded 6 Infantry Bde, 1923-1926; Aide de Camp to the King and Maj Gen, 1926; Director of Recruiting and Organisation, War Office, 1927-1928; Commandant, Imperial Defence College, 1929-1931; Director of Military Operations and Intelligence, War Office, 1931-1934; Col Commandant, Royal Artillery, 1934-1937; Lt Gen, 1933; Chief of General Staff, India, 1934-1937; Gen, 1937; General Officer Commanding in Chief, Northern Command, 1937-1940; Aide de Camp General to the King, 1938-1940; retired, 1940; North Eastern Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence, 1940-1945; died 1962.
Presented to the Centre by the family in 1975.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The collection comprises material relating to several areas of Bartholomew's career, most notably his position as Brigadier General, General Staff, for 20 Corps in Palestine during World War One, with responsibility for a large amount of the logistical and tactical planning which preceded the Third Battle of Gaza. There are a number of detailed documents for this period, 1917-1918, which provide an overview of the decisions made as to troop deployment, provision of supplies, and plans of attack. There are also two narrative accounts of the part played by 20 Corps in the campaign, notably at the Battle of Gaza, and the capture of Jerusalem.
The correspondence in the collection dates from the period during which Bartholomew served as Chief of General Staff in India, 1934-1937. The letters written by FM Sir Philip Walhouse Chetwode from England are extremely detailed, and express personal views on European politics, including the invasion of Abyssinia by the Italians, 1935, the German invasion of the Rhineland, Mar 1936, the problems of army recruitment and rearmament, and Indian politics. Letters from other correspondents, most of them senior military personnel, though less extensive, include coverage of the Arab unrest in Palestine due to the creation of a Jewish state, 1936-1939, and negotiations over troops at the Suez Canal, and the programme of rearmament sanctioned by the Government. Several of the letters, especially those written by Bartholomew himself, shed light on the military situation in India, and the state of readiness of the army there for World War Two.
With regard to Bartholomew's later career, there is little material created during his post as Commander in Chief, Northern Command, with the notable exception of a report on military problems in that area. There are, however, interesting papers relating to Bartholomew's chairmanship of a committee set up to consider the lessons learned by the British Expeditionary Force during operations in France and Belgium in 1940, culminating in the evacuation from Dunkirk. These papers are of interest for an appreciation of the impact of that campaign on future planning and employment of troops.
The papers are arranged chronologically in sections,
CONDITIONS OF ACCESS AND USE
Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.
Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the College Archivist.